Dan's Web Tips | Brand X Browsers | O-Z

Dan's Web Tips:

"Brand-X" Browsers -- Alphabetical List: O-Z

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Note: Browsers with names beginning with nonalphabetic characters, such as numbers, are placed at the end of this page.

Off By One

Off By One attempted to be a fast, compact browser that supported the rather archaic HTML 3.2 standard (quite a while after it was superseded by HTML 4.0). It's a self-contained browser for Windows systems.

Read about it and download it at:
http://www.offbyone.com/

OmniWeb

If you had a NEXTSTEP or Rhapsody system (renamed MacOS X Server after Apple took them over), your browser options included OmniWeb, a browser designed for this platform. (Note that, historically, Tim Berners-Lee's first browser, WorldWideWeb, ran on a NEXT computer.) Nowadays, all Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher users can use OmniWeb 5, which proclaims itself a "powerful, feature-rich alternative to the standard web browser". It has a number of built-in features that are similar to those requiring add-ons and plug-ins in other browsers.

You can obtain OmniWeb at:
http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omniweb/

Online Anywhere

Online Anywhere isn't really a browser, but it is a company that specializes in making Web content accessible through "unusual" media such as cell-phone displays, TV sets, etc. Details on their site are somewhat sketchy, but it seems like they create proxy servers that filter Web content into forms suitable for different devices, allowing the Web author to specify things like which parts of the page to omit in particular circumstances (maybe using proprietary tags?) letting the same page work differently on different devices. I don't know much more than that.

Their site (with some info and screenshots, but no actual downloadable programs, demo sites, or authoring guides) is at:
http://www.onlineanywhere.com/

Opera

Opera is a commercially-released graphical browser not based on either the MSIE or Mozilla code bases, developed in Norway. Though it originally cost money and was competing with browsers that are free, it had a number of avid fans due to its much smaller memory and disk space requirements and the presence of configuration options such as the ability to disable sites from spawning new browser windows. Later, a free ad-supported version was released.

In 2013, Opera announced that it would be using the WebKit (Apple) browser engine in future versions, which ends Opera as a separate browser engine independent of all other browsers (Safari and Chrome both use WebKit already).

In addition to the normal desktop Opera, they have released Opera Mobile and Opera Mini for embedding in devices. The Mini version is Java-based, and thus works only on devices with the proper Java runtime.

You can check out Opera at:
http://www.opera.com/

Oregano

Oregano is a browser developed for set-top boxes, but available also for RISC-OS computers.

Read about it at:
http://www.oregan.net/
Obtain the RISC-OS version at:
http://www.castle.org.uk/

Pale Moon

Pale Moon is a browser based on Firefox that is supposedly more efficient and easy to use. It's free but they take donations (including in Bitcoin). With all the political flaps in 2014 about the Mozilla head supporting anti-gay Proposition 8, it got some notice as a Firefox alternative as different groups threatened to boycott Mozilla first because of the CEO's activities and then because Mozilla caved and pushed him out.

Official site with download:
http://www.palemoon.org/
Archive of Pale Moon versions:
https://archive.org/details/Pale_Moon_Archive_2015_08

Palm Pilot VII

Version "VII" of the once-popular Palm Pilot line of handheld computers supported wireless Internet access. However, instead of a general-purpose browser, it ran "query applications" which "clip" from selected Web sites, letting users get various items of interest (sports scores, stock quotes, etc.) while skipping the bulky stuff on most Web sites that takes too long to load. Given that their "PalmNet" Internet service charged by the kilobyte for data transfers beyond 50 or 150K per month (depending on which plan you pick), you really did need to "clip" only what you need; many single pages on the Web are bigger than 150K, which would kill your whole month's quota! This "clipping" was probably a faster, more efficient way of getting information from the Web if the information you want happened to be covered by one of the "query applications" you have, but it offered no method of getting to the broader range of Web information that isn't so covered. Hyperlinks to related sites were not supported, since the other sites have no "clipping" program defined. Thus, you lost out on some of the main strengths of the Web.

Incidentally, like Nokia, the Palm Pilot people placed some of the tech specs in their Web site in the form of a PDF document, making it inaccessible to the likes of their own handheld devices.

"Palm Pilot" eventually evolved into just plain Palm, and their current offerings have much fuller Internet functionality, but are still losing in the marketplace to other "sexier" devices from the likes of Apple and Google.

You used to be able to read about it at:
http://www.palmpilot.com/products/palmvii/
but that site seems to be dead; it just winds up at a generic domain parking page. The current Palm site is at:
http://www.palm.com/us/
You also used to be able to find out about the palm.net wireless Internet service at:
http://www.palm.net/
but that site seems to be dead too.

Pedia

Pedia is billed as a simple MacOS client for reading Wikipedia. Since this is in fact a Web site, it's actually a Web browser.

Read about it at:
http://tewks.net/pedia/

Phoenix

An offshoot of the Mozilla project, Phoenix aimed to rebuild the browser component that surrounds Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine; its name alluded to the concept of a sleek new browser being reborn from the ashes of its more-bloated predecessor. To keep it "light", Phoenix is purely a browser, without the other elements such as mail, news, and chat capability present in Mozilla and some of the other Mozilla-based browsers. The user interface is being built using Mozilla's own "XUL" (eXtendable User-interface Language) technology, allowing the creation of cross-platform, easily customizable user interfaces. However, the developers got in legal trouble over the name, and thus changed the project's name to Firebird (and later, after yet another name conflict, Firefox).

Phoenix Connect

This is the product that caused the "other" Phoenix (above) to have legal trouble with their name; the Phoenix company has been making PC BIOS ROM-based software for many years now, and has created Web browsers called Phoenix FirstView Connect and Phoenix FirstWare Connect. Their lawyers felt that the Mozilla-based Phoenix would be confusingly similar and create market confusion. The Phoenix Connect family of browsers are designed to be embedded in ROM in computers and other devices, to be able to run even without an operating system; in addition to the always-cited possibilities of Internet-enabled toasters and the like, this would allow you to reach an appropriate tech-support site through your PC even if the hard disk died so you can't actually boot it.

Read about it at:
http://www.phoenix.com/en/solutions/connect/

PicoWAP

PicoWAP is an open source WML browser, designed for accessing sites designed for cell phones.

Obtain it at:
http://www.multimania.com/picowap/

PirateBrowser

PirateBrowser is a version of Firefox bundled with Tor, with some other add-ons and configurations designed to help the user get around censorship.

Obtain it at:
http://piratebrowser.com/

PlanetWeb

PlanetWeb makes browsers to embed in appliances such as videogame units, set-top boxes, telephones, etc. A PlanetWeb browser is used in the American release of the Sega Dreamcast video game unit. (The original Japanese release used a browser called DreamPassport.)

Read about PlanetWeb at:
http://www.planetweb.com/
Read more about the Dreamcast at:
http://www.sega.com/
http://www.dreamcast.com/

Plucker

Plucker is an offline HTML browser for PalmOS, similar to Rocket E-Book. A desktop component plucks web pages and saves them as .PDB files that can be sent to the PalmOS device. Its plkr.org site seems to have turned into a domain-for-sale, but there's a Sourceforge archive around.

Prismiq

Prismiq is a TV-set-top media player that includes Web browsing capability. It's Linux-based, but I'm not sure what browser engine it uses.

Read about it at:
http://www.prismiq.com/products/product_mediaplayer.asp

Prodigy

The original Prodigy online service, since re-dubbed "Prodigy Classic" after the debut of the newer Prodigy Internet, was the first major commercial online service to offer Web access. It did this through a proprietary browser of its own devising, which started out in early 1995 with plain HTML 2.0 support, but gradually added some of the later enhancements such as background graphics and tables. Prodigy Classic has now been terminated because it is technologically outdated (and not Y2K compliant).

See Prodigy's site (which doesn't really mention the "Classic" service any more) at:
http://www.prodigy.com

ProxiWeb

ProxiWeb was a browser for PalmPilots and Windows CE devices. It browsed the Web through a proxy server provided (free of charge) by the maker of this browser. The proxy "optimized" the content for pocket computers, and promised a fully-graphical experience. One oddity was that it supported server-side imagemaps but not the client-side variety, even though the latter is much more common these days. However (as indicated by the past tense I used in this description), this service has now been disconnected.

You used to be able tobtain it at: http://www.proxinet.com/
but that address now redirects to a page giving information on different products from Pumatech, which bought out ProxiWeb.

Psion Message Suite

The Psion is a British handheld computer. They have a graphical browser for their Series 5 computer (with a black-and-white screen), and have now released a Series 7 computer with a color screen and Web software included.

Read about and obtain the Series 5 browser at:
http://www.psion.com/series5/s5comms.html
Read about the Series 7 browser at:
http://www.psion.com/series7/about/software/web.html

PSP Internet Browser

The PlayStation Portable (PSP) has a browser that lets you use it for Web access. At this point I don't know enough technical details to know whether it's an adaptation of one of the other browsers or an original creation of Sony.

Read its online manual at:
http://www.playstation.com/manual/psp/

pwTelephone

The makers of the speaking browser pwWebSpeak also make a program that connects to a phone line and lets you make Web access available by telephone. Callers navigate Web sites (Internet, intranet, or extranet depending on what you connect the system to) by listening to the browser read the site out loud and by pressing telephone keys. This is similar to the (apparently discontinued) product Web-On-Call.

pwWebSpeak

The blind and visually impaired have often attempted to access the Web using a screen reader on the output of a visual browser (either graphical or text-mode). This is rather imperfect, as it loses a lot of the logical structure of the HTML document. A better option is a speech browser that renders the HTML directly in audible form. pwWebSpeak is such a browser.

The concept of pwWebSpeak is very good. The implementation is adequate, but could be improved; its HTML parser seems to be even more "Tag Soup" than the popular browsers -- rather than generating a logical structure of the document via a rigorous SGML parsing, it simply reacts to the opening and closing tags as they come up. This is acceptable for the simplistic rendering pwWebSpeak currently does (like announcing "Link!" before each link, and announcing the start and end of a table when they occur), but could be troublesome if future versions attempt more sophisticated renderings of entire blocks of content, like using a different volume or tone of voice for blockquotes than for normal text.

Unfortunately, this product is discontinued as of January 1, 2001.

(See also Sigtuna.)

You used to be able to read more about pwWebSpeak at:
http://www.prodworks.com/

QNX Demo

The QNX Demo was a self-contained bootable demo operating system and browser which could fit on a single floppy, designed to demonstrate the compactness of the QNX system. It doesn't seem to be downloadable in this form any more, but it's transformed itself into Voyager.

It used to be downloadable at:
http://www.qnx.com/iat/
which now redirects to a page with downloads of development kits for the QNX system (registration required).

Qubit

Qubit is a portable "information appliance" that works like a cordless phone, accessing the Internet through a wireless LAN going to a base station somewhere else in your house that has a modem connection. It has a version of MS Windows built in, and some sort of Web browser -- maybe MSIE, given that it's Windows-based, but the promotional article about it doesn't actually say. But due to the differences in characteristics of this appliance (user interface, amount of memory, etc.) from a normal PC, any browser on it, even if it's adapted from MSIE, is bound to have some differences from the "mainstream" browsers.

Read about it at:
http://www.qubit.net/

QWEB

QWEB is an SGML browser for Unix-type systems. Since HTML is (in theory) an SGML application, I presume QWEB can browse well-formed HTML (though that is a minority on the Web these days!).

Read about it at:
http://sunsite.dk/qweb/

Rocket E-Book

This isn't really a browser, since it doesn't connect directly to the Internet, but the Rocket E-Book, a portable electronic "book", does allow you to download HTML or text documents into it for offline browsing. It's designed primarily for the viewing of books stored in their proprietary encrypted HTML-based format with copy-protection to protect authors' rights, but it can also be used to view other text and Web pages. The idea is that you can carry this light, portable reader anywhere you might take a book, and buy new texts for it via Internet download through your PC.

Their Web site is at:
http://www.rocket-ebook.com/

Rockmelt

Rockmelt is a browser based on Chrome which adds a direct linkage with Facebook, showing the status of friends and other updates along the edges of the main browser screen and making it simple to share things from the Web. Initially, at least, it is available as a beta version only by invitation, which you can sign up to request.

Their Web site is at:
http://www.rockmelt.com/
An article about them is at:
http://mashable.com/2010/11/07/rockmelt-beta/

Safari

The latest browser from Apple Computer for the MacOS platform is Safari. Often mistakenly believed to be a Mozilla-based browser (an error encouraged by its user agent string which, similarly to Mozilla, calls itself "Mozilla/5.0", and also contains the string "like Gecko" to fool browser-sniffers looking for a reference to Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine), Safari actually is based on the Konqueror browser project.

Read about it and get it at:
http://www.apple.com/safari/

SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey is the name of the branched version of the Mozilla suite that was formed when the Mozilla Foundation stopped supporting further development of its former flagship product in favor of Firefox. The name was the former code name of the suite, but was not used as an official product name until the new project split off. It consists of a combination of a browser, an e-mail program, and other things such as an IRC chat program. With the 2005 announcement that the Mozilla Foundation would no longer release any official versions of the suite, development moved to an independent group of developers. There was some question about what name they would be using, but by mid-2005, they had officially announced SeaMonkey as the program's name.

Mozilla Suite Transition Plan:
http://www.mozilla.org/seamonkey-transition.html
SeaMonkey Project Home Page
http://wiki.mozilla.org/wiki/SeaMonkey:Home_Page

Sensus

The Sensus Internet Browser is a speaking browser (actually an add-on to MSIE) which is available only by mail-order (no demo-version download is available), priced in Danish kroner.

Read about it at:
http://www.sensus.dk/sib10uk.htm

Sidekick

No connection with the old desk accessory program from Borland, this Sidekick is the Web browser built into T-Mobile cell phones, promising true wireless HTML browsing (not just WML) on a 240 x 160 monochrome screen. I can't tell from their site whether this is a new browser developed by T-Mobile or an adapted version of some existing browser that might be elsewhere in these pages. I'm also not sure how this browser deals with the all-too-rampant use of hardcoded pixel widths in pages that would force them well beyond the limits of a 240-pixel-wide screen; does it ignore the hardcoded widths (like WebTV) or force a horizontal scroll?

Read more about it (but unfortunately more marketing-speak than technical detail) at:
http://www.t-mobile.com/products/overview.asp?phoneid=165302

Sigtuna

Sigtuna is an adapted and renamed version of the pwWebSpeak speaking browser, distributed by a Japanese organization. Both English and Japanese versions were downloadable free on their site, intended to be used noncommercially by nonprofit organizations and handicapped individuals. Commercial users are supposed to buy pwWebSpeak instead. (It doesn't seem to be there any more.)

You used to be able to find it at:
http://www.jsrd.or.jp/

Silk

The Silk browser is found on the Amazon Fire tablet, with its most notable feature being that it sends all web traffic through an Amazon back-end server which does caching to speed up the web experience, but might end up giving not exactly the same versions of pages that uses of other browsers see (if the page has changed since it was cached), as well as possibly giving Amazon a lot of information about its users online behavior that they might use for marketing. This and the original Kindle browser are probably based on Netfront.

See some commentary at:
http://cdespinosa.posterous.com/fire

Simputer

Simputer is a project, based in India, to produce a low-cost portable computer intended primarily for use in third-world countries where few can afford regular computers. It has a browser that uses yet another newfangled markup language, IML (Information Markup Language), meaning that you can apparently only browse information put online specifically for this project, not the whole universe of online info that's in HTML or even WML.

Read more about it at:
http://www.simputer.org/

Simply Web 2000

Not really an independent browser, Simply Web 2000 is an add-on to MSIE that provides speaking browser capability. While I normally list MSIE skins in a separate section rather than considering them to merit entries in the main listing, audio browsers are distinct enough to be listed here even when they're not fully stand-alone.

Read more about it at:
http://www.econointl.com/sw/

Skipper

Skipper is the browser that comes with the NewDeal program suite, a graphical environment intended for lower-powered PCs. It runs under DOS and gives some of the functionality of Windows 95/98 without needing as many resources.

(You used to be able to) Read about it and download a trial version at:
http://www.newdealinc.com/ (apparently dead now)

Skyfire

Skyfire is a browser for mobile devices such as cell phones (but not the Apple iPhone). It claims to do a better job than other mobile browsers at giving its users access to the full-fledged Web just as if they were on a PC. It is "free as in beer, not speech", since it can be downloaded at no charge but it is a proprietary, commercial product, not an open source project. It supports Flash videos, something conspicuously absent from Apple mobile products.

Read about it and download it at:
http://www.skyfire.com/

SlipKnot

Like iComm, SlipKnot is a graphical browser that works through a Unix shell account, running on a Windows system and connecting by dialup to a shell account that runs Lynx or CERN Line Mode Browser to retrieve Web documents.

Read about it and obtain it at:
http://www.users.interport.net/~pbrooks/slipknot.html

SPIN

SPIN is a browser for MS-DOS (no Windows required).

Read about it at:
http://www.spin.saturnus.nl/engels/

Stainless

Stainless is a browser for OS X Leopard / Snow Leopard, whose main innovation is parallel sessions in a multi-processing architecture, which allows you to log into the same site in different tabs using different accounts without them interfering with one another. (Most other browsers would send a common set of cookies to all the tabs open to the same site at the same time, causing them all to use the same session information.)

Read about it at:
http://www.stainlessapp.com/

Star Office

Star Office was a full set of office programs (word processor, spreadsheet, database, e-mail, etc.), and it included its own Web browser. The browser seemed to support current-day (as of its creation) HTML features to about the same extent as the mainstream browsers, with the usual minor quirks in layout which are only a problem for authors who insist on everything being planned down to the last pixel. (But it apparently didn't support JavaScript.) As a browser, it didn't really have any features that made people want to ditch the other browsers and use it, but as an integrated set of software it might have proved attractive given the price: free for noncommercial users. It was a rather sizable download for its pre-broadband era, though; you'd better have a T1 or leave it downloading all night. A Web editor was also included, and like most WYSIWYG editors it munged your HTML code and introduced erroneous syntax (like leaving out quotes around attributes that require them).

Formerly produced by a company called Star Division, Star Office was later owned by Sun Microsystems, which got bought out by Oracle, which turned Star Office into Open Office, which got turned over to the Apache Foundation, but got forked as Libre Office by others, giving the whole thing a tangled history. Current versions don't have a browser built in.

You can obtain it at:
http://www.sun.com/products/staroffice/

Torpark

Torpark is a privacy-enhanced browser allowing anonymous surfing, which it does by passing all traffic through the Tor network, where its IP address of origin is hidden. It is based on the Firefox codebase.

Read about it at:
http://torpark.nfshost.com/

UdiWWW

UdiWWW is a browser that supports English and German prompts, and has some support for LINK elements. However, it has not been upgraded or maintained lately, so it's no longer a viable entry in the browser market.

Obtain it at:
http://cws.internet.com/web-udiwww.html

UP.Browser

UP.Browser is a browser created by phone.com for use on cell-phones, generally with text-only displays. It's used by Sprint PCS for their wireless portable Internet service. However, it's not an HTML browser; it uses its own "HDML" (Handheld Device Markup Language) format, though it does also support the more standardized WML.

While phone.com has a developer site, you need to fill out a registration form to access it. I was unable to find any sort of "tech-specs" on their HDML language that were accessible without registration, and their site promoted expensive stuff like a $295 tutorial CD-ROM for people interested in learning how to develop content of this format. This is a far cry from the openly documented standards and free on-Web tutorials that HTML has always had. Ironically, one of their developer-oriented documents that is freely readable without registration, a hype document touting the growth of the handheld browser market and claiming to be at the forefront of it, makes reference to the VHS vs. Beta video format wars, and how Beta was technically superior but still lost. It seems to me that HDML is the "Beta" here; it might be superior in some ways for the specific purpose of handheld wireless browsing, but most of the content of the Web is in HTML, not HDML, so the former is the almost certain winner of any format wars to come.

Read about UP.Browser at:
http://www.phone.com/
Read about Sprint's version of this at:
http://www.sprintpcs.com/wireless/wwbrowsing.html

vi

The UNIX text editor, vi, was rumored to suport some sort of text-mode HTML rendering and link-following, following in the footsteps of Emacs, another text editor turned text browser, but this is apparently not true; it's not a browser and has never been.

Viola

Viola was one of the early academic browsers that was popular in the pre-commercial days of the Web, and pioneered lots of things including the use of embedded applets (and was cited, by Microsoft of all people, as prior art in a lawsuit challenging somebody else's claim to patent protection of this concept). It was actually a generalized hypertext system to which the Web browser was an addon. I can't find any current Web site about it, so I'm not sure if any version is still available.

VIP Browser

VIP Browser is a speaking browser. I don't know much about it, since there's very little information in the Web site about it, and no demo version is available; you need to pay the price (over $200) for the privilege of getting a copy by snail-mail.

Read (very little) about it at:
http://www.jbliss.com/SW_Products.html

Vivaldi

Vivaldi is a new (as of 2015) browser by the original creators of Opera, after they decided Opera is no longer going in the direction they'd like as a browser for themselves and their friends. It is designed to be user-focused, extensible, and fast-running. It appears to be based on the Webkit engine similarly to Safari and Chrome (though it's rather difficult these days to know such things for sure given how user-agent strings are full of lies).

Read about it and download a preview version at:
https://vivaldi.com/

Voyager

Voyager is a browser for the Amiga computer.

Obtain it at:
http://www.vapor.com/

Voyager [a different unrelated one]

A company called Nuance announced the upcoming (as of 2000) release of a telephone-based voice browser, Voyager. To date, the only information about it is a press release (in marketroid style) that doesn't really make it clear whether this browser will actually allow the transmission and navigation of normal HTML documents by phone, or just documents created in a proprietary voice-specific language of Nuance's devising (which would be yet another attempt to Balkanize the Web into incompatible formats, like the various proprietary languages for palmtop browsing). They mention a "VoxML" language, but don't say clearly whether that's all their browser will support, or if it has some capability of reading out normal HTML too. All of these attempts at proprietary, application-specific, markup languages are being marketed using lots of references to the Web, because that's "hot" and "sexy", but if they offer access only to proprietary sites designed specifically for their application, then they are not truly part of the Web, which is a globally-interlinked information medium intended for universal accessibility.

Voyager [yet another one]

This Voyager is the compact browser for the QNX operating system, intended for use in embedded systems.

More information is at:
http://www.qnx.com/products/photon/internet.html

Wanna-Be

Wanna-Be is a text-only browser for the Macintosh. Kind of like Lynx, I guess. It's a little odd to see a text browser coming out for the platform that pioneered graphical interfaces, but it's got its enthusiasts already, even though it's still in the alpha-test stage. There are people out there who like to get information from the Web without all the overhead and distraction of graphics.

Read about it and download it at:
http://mindstory.com/wb2/

wApua

wApua is a WML browser that's implemented entirely in Perl. You need to have Perl and various required libraries for it in order to use it.

Obtain it at:
http://fsinfo.cs.uni-sb.de/~abe/wApua/

WAR

WAR... What is it good for? Well, in this case, it's good for something to developers of WML sites for cell-phone use. It's one of the developer browsers that simulate phone-based browsers to help site creators test their work, part of the wap.net toolkit.

Read about it at:
http://www.wap.net/devkit/war.html

Waterfox

Waterfox is a browser based on Mozilla that is designed to be faster-running, optimized for the latest platforms as of 2014.

Read about it and download it at:
https://www.waterfoxproject.org/

Wear Android Browser

Even watches have web browsers these days, as the Android-based browser for the Wear smartwatch is available in the Google Play store.

Get it (and see a promotional video) at:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appfour.wearbrowser

WebbIE

WebbIE is a browser intended for blind and sight-impaired users, presenting the content of Web pages in a simple text-only form, in large type, suitable for screen-reader use. It's not a true alternative browser, since it actually uses MSIE to retrieve the pages (yuck!).

Download it at:
http://www.webbie.org.uk/

WebBrowser

This generically-named browser is found in Samsung SmartTVs, where it can be controlled using a QWERTY-keyboard remote control. It appears to be based on Apple's WebKit under a Linux-based operating system.

Read about Samsung SmartTVs at:
http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN55D8000YFXZA

Web Browser Pro

Palm has released Web Browser Pro as a browser for its Palm Tungsten T handheld device. It seems to be a full-functioned browser supporting both HTML and WML, as well as JavaScript, CSS, and images in color.

Read about it at:
http://palm.com/software/webbrowserpro/

WebCite

WebCite is a speaking browser, but no version is presently available; the Web site said it was "in Beta," but currently has no mention of it.

The (former?) maker's site is at:
http://www.hear-it.com/

Web-On-Call

Web-On-Call isn't a consumer browser, but rather is server software to let a Web site owner make its site available by phone as well as by Internet. You need to have a Sun or Windows NT system permanently connected to the Internet, and the hardware to connect voice and fax modems to it. WebOnCall retrieves the Web site from the Internet and reads it out loud over the phone, with links converted to voice-menu items, and the ability to fill out online forms using the touch-tone keypad. Any text-browser-friendly Web site will work with this software, but they provide authoring guidelines for optimizing a site for telephone use, and there are some special embedded tags (generally implemented using <A NAME="command">) to tell Web-On-Call to ignore parts of a page (such as graphical menus) and to read additional text not shown by normal browsers (through TITLE attributes). Since these anchor tags are legal HTML syntax, the pages can still validate, though the logical structure is a bit goofy; it would have probably been better if they implemented audio stylesheets instead as the method of suggesting particular behavior for different sections of the document.

(This product seems to be discontinued, since the address below now gets you to a corporate site with no mention of Web-On-Call.)

You used to be able to read about it at:
http://www.weboncall.com/

WebPal

WebPal is a TV set-box Web browser, similar to WebTV. I don't know much about it, but some information can be found at:
http://www.gorenfon.com/webpal.html

WebRouser

Back in 1995, Eolas announced WebRouser, a browser that was to support embedded applets. If it was ever released, I don't know where it can be found now. Eolas is, of course, better known now for getting a patent on the concept of applets and suing Microsoft and winning (but a later case against different companies was defeated in 2012). Even many Microsoft haters don't like this outcome, as it's yet another case of a silly patent on something fairly trivial being pushed by somebody better at litigating than innovating.

Read the announcement at:
http://www.webhistory.org/www.lists/www-talk.1995q3/0566.html

WebStalker

WebStalker promises to provide "a new way of experiencing the Web." If by this they mean an utterly incomprehensible interface, they're right. Rather than just letting you "browse," WebStalker generates an ever-changing graph of the pages linked to, and the ones they link to, and so on. This would be a neat idea if it actually worked in a manner the user could understand, but it's done in a pretty-much unusable way here. And I couldn't even figure out how to quit the program without pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del.

In keeping with its general attitude of crypticness, WebStalker sends a completely empty user agent identifier string (or doesn't send any user agent string at all; I'm not sure which), and so will show up as "unknown" or "missing" on any site's browser usage statistics.

Read about WebStalker (in a site with a structure and interface about as cryptic as the program itself) and download it at:
http://bak.spc.org/iod/

WebSurfer

WebSurfer is a browser for the Macintosh and Windows by NetManage Inc. I don't know any more about it, and don't have a URL to obtain it.

WebTV

WebTV is one of several competing set-top boxes that let people access the Web without a computer. It's now owned by Microsoft, so I guess it's not technically "Brand X," but it's highly different from "mainstream" browsers due to the limitations of a TV set as a Web display. You were able to see how your site looks in WebTV without buying one of their units yourself; simply download the WebTV Simulator at their developer site. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have a developer site any more; at least the former address of it doesn't work.

The service is actually called MSN TV now, but its site is still at webtv.net.

Read about WebTV / MSN TV at:
http://www.webtv.net/

WeMedia Talking Browser

This isn't really an independent browser, but just uses the MSIE "engine", so it really belongs in the "MSIE Skins" section. But I let some other not-really-independent talking browsers get separate entries, so I guess it's only fair to include this one too. But it's not a very good talking browser. When I tried it, it ignored ALT attributes completely and just read the regular text of the page without anything to represent the images. And it didn't do anything to distinguish headers from body text, such as varying the volume or tone. No cognizance was made of LANG attributes to vary the pronunciation, either. It's really just a very simpleminded text reader grafted on top of MSIE, not a true text browser that gives an audio rendering of the logical structure and content of a Web page.

The company that makes this, WE Media, is now suing a TV network that's adopting the name "WE", for trademark infringement. It seems preposterous to me that anybody could own this generic pronoun. Maybe I could trademark "I", and sue anybody who uses that letter?

Read about it and download it

Wensuite

Wensuite is a browser for Atari ST computers.

Get it at:
http://oxo.systems.online.fr/wensuite.htm

Wii U Browser

Wheeeeeoooo! The Wii U Browser is built into the Wii U gaming console, and is based on WebKit. Tests have shown its HTML 5 support to be superior to that of other popular browsers, but it lacks support for downloads or plugins.

More info:
http://www.ign.com/wikis/wii-u/Internet_Browser
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/376627/wii-u-web-browser-specs-detailed-lacks-plug-in-support/

WinWAP

WinWAP is a WML (Wireless Markup Language) browser for Windows. Unlike some other "web cell phone simulators" (e.g., the Nokia and Ericsson development kits), this is aimed at consumers wishing to access mobile-phone-based Web services while at their normal computers, rather than at developers trying to simulate access by cell-phone, so it incorporates the user interface features of Windows rather than trying to precisely duplicate the interface of a cell phone.

Obtain it at:
http://www.winwap.org/

WML Browser

This is a project that's aiming to produce an open-source WML browser for Linux, with the motive of making it possible for hardware developers to create Linux-based mobile Internet devices. This project is still at a fairly early stage.

Read about it at:
http://www.wmlbrowser.org/

WorldWideWeb

Tim Berners-Lee's original browser for the World Wide Web, at the time he invented it at CERN, was called simply "WorldWideWeb." It ran on the NEXT computer, and was both a browser and HTML editor. The earliest primitive but functional version was working on Tim's NEXT workstation by Christmas, 1990. Later, he renamed it "Nexus" to distinguish it from the Web itself.

WorldWideWeb / Nexus can be downloaded at:
http://browsers.evolt.org/?worldwideweb/NeXT
Info on CERN (which is no longer involved in Web development) is at:
http://www.cern.ch/
Tim Berners-Lee now heads the W3 Consortium, at:
http://www.w3.org/

WWW3D

WWW3D is cited as a "3D multi-user web browser" in an academic paper. I think it was created as a project at a university, but I don't know whether it's actually available; I see no place where it can be downloaded. It shows the structure of Web sites in 3D space.

Read about it at:
http://www.crg.cs.nott.ac.uk/~dns/vr/www3d/webnet96-final.html

W3M

W3M is a text-mode browser for Unix and Windows platforms. Unlike Lynx it attempts to lay out tables. English and Japanese versions are available.

Obtain it at:
http://ei5nazha.yz.yamagata-u.ac.jp/~aito/w3m/eng/

Yandex Browser

The Yandex Browser was released by the Russian search engine Yandex. It is Chromium-based.

More info:
http://browser.yandex.com/

YourWAP

YourWAP is a service to provide content to WAP-enabled phones, but they also provide a WAP simulator browser you can download for Windows to let you access this content on a normal PC.

It can be found at:
http://www.yourwap.com/

1X

ActiveX is a form of Microsoft-specific proprietary Web content, which might be seen as Bill Gates' counterattack to Java, but is a Windows component used internally in all sorts of places. So far, the web usage of it has only worked on Microsoft's own browsers (unless you install special extensions for other browsers), contributing to the fragmenting of the Web community. However, somebody else has come out with an alternative ActiveX-compatible browser, called 1X. Like Opera and QNX, they've kept it simple and produced a product taking up relatively little memory and disk space. While I'm glad to see somebody taking steps to make ActiveX a little less proprietary, I still see no reason to use this sort of material in my own Web pages; I'd rather use forms of content with open standards that are supported by a wide range of vendors, so when I use some form of applets and scripting, I'll use Java and JavaScript in preference to Microsoftisms like ActiveX and VBScript, even if other guys do eventually come out with browsers reverse-engineered to support these things. Anyway, Java is designed with more comprehensive security than the rather risky ActiveX. But fans of ActiveX might want to check out the 1X browser, at:
http://www.scitrav.com/1X/ (now dead)

 

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This page was first created 24 Sep 1998, and was last modified 14 Mar 2016.
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